Local Events and Activities Updates


Recent Announcements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2020

CONTACT: Jordan Kennedy, 517-512-5511, kennedyj11@michigan.gov


Resources for sexual assault survivors continue during COVID-19

Survivors can call or text Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline
for immediate crisis counseling, support

LANSING, Mich. – Counseling, advocacy and resources for survivors of sexual assault remain available during the COVID-19 crisis, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said today.

Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline, 855-VOICES4, continues to operate and provide 24/7, free, confidential and anonymous support to survivors of sexual assault, their family, and friends.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Providing support for Michigan’s survivors of sexual assault is an essential service that remains in place during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Whitmer said. “It’s important to make sure that survivors are aware of these resources – in April and throughout the year.”

Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline, 855-VOICES4, was launched in 2018 to provide immediate crisis counseling and referrals to local community-based sexual assault programs and programs that provide sexual assault medical forensic examinations across the state. Last year at the annual Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault summit, Gov. Whitmer announced an expansion to the hotline that now allows survivors to text 866-238-1454 for counseling support.

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is committed to easy access to resources for any Michigander who is a survivor of sexual assault,” said Debi Cain, executive director of the MDHHS Division of Victim Services. “This hotline is a critical resource for any survivor in Michigan who needs a safe person to talk to, no matter the time, day or night.”

Raising public awareness about sexual assault, and educating communities about how to prevent it, are the center of the national campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is broadly defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent. National statistics show that one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.

“The impact of sexual assault can have lifetime effects for survivors and their families,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “In April we recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the need for continued education to better serve survivors and hold their offenders accountable. It is a month dedicated to standing with survivors of sexual assault – honoring and amplifying their voices while providing education on the dynamics and realities of this crime.”

# # #

If you are a survivor of sexual assault and need to talk, call Michigan’s 24/7, free, confidential and anonymous hotline: 855-VOICES4 (855-864-2374). You can also text 866-238-1454. Resources are also available online at Michigan.gov/voices4.

The IRS is warning of scams tied to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Review the full release from the IRS below.

Read in Other Languages

Spanish


IRS issues warning about Coronavirus-related scams; watch out for schemes tied to economic impact payments

IR-2020-64

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

"We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn't going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don't open them or click on attachments or links. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information."

Taxpayers should watch not only for emails but text messages, websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information.

“History has shown that criminals take every opportunity to perpetrate a fraud on unsuspecting victims, especially when a group of people is vulnerable or in a state of need,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort. “While you are waiting to hear about your economic impact payment, criminals are working hard to trick you into getting their hands on it. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is working hard to find these scammers and shut them down, but in the meantime, we ask people to remain vigilant.”


Don’t fall prey to Coronavirus tricks; retirees among potential targets

The IRS and its Criminal Investigation Division have seen a wave of new and evolving phishing schemes against taxpayers. In most cases, the IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit account taxpayers previously provided on tax returns. Those taxpayers who have previously filed but not provided direct deposit information to the IRS will be able to provide their banking information online to a newly designed secure portal on IRS.gov in mid-April. If the IRS does not have a taxpayer’s direct deposit information, a check will be mailed to the address on file. Taxpayers should not provide their direct deposit or other banking information for others to input on their behalf into the secure portal.

The IRS also reminds retirees who don’t normally have a requirement to file a tax return that no action on their part is needed to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. Seniors should be especially careful during this period. The IRS reminds retirees – including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 −  that no one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment, also sometimes referred to as rebates or stimulus payments. The IRS is sending these $1,200 payments automatically to retirees – no additional action or information is needed on their part to receive this.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Reporting Coronavirus-related or other phishing attempts

Those who receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential scammers online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov.

Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and economic impact payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov. The page is updated quickly when new information is available.

Do you own a small business and need assistance amidst COVID-19 restrictions? You're in the right place to request help.

Request assistance for your small business

Gov. Whitmer signed an Executive Order suspending face-to-face learning at K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year.

Here's an overview of the Executive Order(PDF, 84KB).

Executive Order 2020-35


All Announcements

Kent County 63rd District Court has implemented the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

The court is adjourning all but essential matters. There will be no in-person assistance at the front counter.

Do not come to court but communicate with the court by phone if:

  1. You are sick or experiencing flu-like symptoms
  2. You have been exposed to someone who is sick
  3. You have a compromised immune system or are otherwise vulnerable
  4. You have travelled internationally or domestically by air within the last 14 days

Payments may be made Online or by mail to the court.


Nonessential Individuals

Persons who are not a party or necessary to a case should not enter the courthouse. Encourage nonessential individuals to stay at home. If possible, the court can permit these individuals to listen to the court proceedings via phone or video.


Arranging Remote Appearances

In all matters, the court will utilize remote appearances to the greatest extent possible. To arrange, parties and attorneys should contact the court at DCCustomer@kentcountymi.gov.


Specific Case Instructions

For specific case instructions, please review the attached Media Release.

Amtrak is making service changes to better manage resources in the face of unprecedented declines in ridership. These changes affect service to Grand Rapids. Effective March 19, Chicago-Holland-Grand Rapids Pere Marquette daily roundtrips are suspended. 

Amtrak Thruway Bus connections to and from Grand Rapids are available daily via Kalamazoo. Amtrak Website

Gov. Whitmer signed an Executive Order suspending face-to-face learning at K-12 schools for the remainder of the school year.

Here's an overview of the Executive Order(PDF, 84KB).

Executive Order 2020-35

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information on dispelling COVID-19 rumors. Make sure to check trusted sources when you hear any potential rumors.

COVID-19 Rumor Control

Free Comic Book Day, scheduled for 5/2 at Vault of Midnight is cancelled.

The Gazelle Girl races have moved to a virtual experience. Registered participants have a choice to join virtually or to defer their registration until 2021. Read More

During the forced closure of the Grand Rapids Public Schools, the school system is opening nutrition service "grab and go" meal sites. Read more


Grab and Go Meal Sites - SITES UPDATED APRIL 2

These sites will be open Monday and Thursday Only, from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm.

City High Middle School
1720 Plainfield Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
View Map

Hope Academy
240 Brown St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
View Map

Ottawa Hills High School
2055 Rosewood Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
View Map

San Juan Diego Academy
1650 Godfrey Ave SW
Wyoming, MI 49509
View Map

Sibley Elementary
943 Sibley St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
View Map

Meals are breakfast/lunch combo. Available for all students 18 years of age and younger. This includes students with disabilities ages 18-26 with an active individual education program (IEP). Meals are not limited to GRPS students.

*These are subject to change and additional sites may be added.

The 2020 Grand Rapids Pride Festival has been rescheduled for August 1, 2020. The event will still be held at Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids from 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm. Learn More

Schools Closed

All Grand Rapids Public Schools are closed until April 5. GRPS will send a future communication about Spring Break. Read more

The Grand Rapids Symphony has cancelled all concerts from March 13 - April 11. Grand Rapids Symphony Website

Connect directly to food resources and an interactive map of services in Kent County.

Kent County Food Assistance Map

 

The IRS is warning of scams tied to the economic impacts of COVID-19. Review the full release from the IRS below.

Read in Other Languages

Spanish


IRS issues warning about Coronavirus-related scams; watch out for schemes tied to economic impact payments

IR-2020-64

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

"We urge people to take extra care during this period. The IRS isn't going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don't open them or click on attachments or links. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information."

Taxpayers should watch not only for emails but text messages, websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information.

“History has shown that criminals take every opportunity to perpetrate a fraud on unsuspecting victims, especially when a group of people is vulnerable or in a state of need,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort. “While you are waiting to hear about your economic impact payment, criminals are working hard to trick you into getting their hands on it. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division is working hard to find these scammers and shut them down, but in the meantime, we ask people to remain vigilant.”


Don’t fall prey to Coronavirus tricks; retirees among potential targets

The IRS and its Criminal Investigation Division have seen a wave of new and evolving phishing schemes against taxpayers. In most cases, the IRS will deposit economic impact payments into the direct deposit account taxpayers previously provided on tax returns. Those taxpayers who have previously filed but not provided direct deposit information to the IRS will be able to provide their banking information online to a newly designed secure portal on IRS.gov in mid-April. If the IRS does not have a taxpayer’s direct deposit information, a check will be mailed to the address on file. Taxpayers should not provide their direct deposit or other banking information for others to input on their behalf into the secure portal.

The IRS also reminds retirees who don’t normally have a requirement to file a tax return that no action on their part is needed to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. Seniors should be especially careful during this period. The IRS reminds retirees – including recipients of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 −  that no one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment, also sometimes referred to as rebates or stimulus payments. The IRS is sending these $1,200 payments automatically to retirees – no additional action or information is needed on their part to receive this.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that scammers may:

  • Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
  • Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
  • Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
  • Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
  • Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.

Reporting Coronavirus-related or other phishing attempts

Those who receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), should forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential scammers online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov.

Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and economic impact payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov. The page is updated quickly when new information is available.

Kent County has ordered that any public gathering be limited to 50% capacity. Read More


Questions

If you have questions, call 616-632-7100 or 1-888-515-1300.

Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) launched a new volunteer website.

Trained medical professionals and other state residents can find out how they can help their local community.

MDHHS COVID-19 Volunteer Website 

On March 18, Gov. Whitmer signed an order to temporarily suspend rules and procedures related to physical presence at meetings and hearings of public bodies and other governmental entities in Michigan.

These public bodies and entities must continue to conduct public business during this emergency, including actions to respond to COVID-19, and the general public must be able to continue to participate in government decisionmaking without unduly compromising public health, safety, and welfare. Read the Executive Order(PDF, 222KB)

Are you looking to report an instance of price gouging? Report it to the State of Michigan.

You can also call in your report to 1-877-765-8388.

On Monday, March 16, 2020, the State of Michigan issued an order that all bars and restaurants close for all dine in service. Drive thru service is still allowed. Read the Order

The River Bank Run has been rescheduled to October 24. Read More

Do you own a small business and need assistance amidst COVID-19 restrictions? You're in the right place to request help.

Request assistance for your small business

Application Now Available

  • Up to $20 million in grants and loans now available to Michigan’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak
  • Grants and loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow
  • Program now accepting applications, with key information available at michiganbusiness.org/covid19

Learn More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2020

CONTACT: Jordan Kennedy, 517-512-5511, kennedyj11@michigan.gov


Resources for sexual assault survivors continue during COVID-19

Survivors can call or text Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline
for immediate crisis counseling, support

LANSING, Mich. – Counseling, advocacy and resources for survivors of sexual assault remain available during the COVID-19 crisis, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said today.

Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline, 855-VOICES4, continues to operate and provide 24/7, free, confidential and anonymous support to survivors of sexual assault, their family, and friends.

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Providing support for Michigan’s survivors of sexual assault is an essential service that remains in place during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Whitmer said. “It’s important to make sure that survivors are aware of these resources – in April and throughout the year.”

Michigan’s Sexual Assault Hotline, 855-VOICES4, was launched in 2018 to provide immediate crisis counseling and referrals to local community-based sexual assault programs and programs that provide sexual assault medical forensic examinations across the state. Last year at the annual Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault summit, Gov. Whitmer announced an expansion to the hotline that now allows survivors to text 866-238-1454 for counseling support.

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is committed to easy access to resources for any Michigander who is a survivor of sexual assault,” said Debi Cain, executive director of the MDHHS Division of Victim Services. “This hotline is a critical resource for any survivor in Michigan who needs a safe person to talk to, no matter the time, day or night.”

Raising public awareness about sexual assault, and educating communities about how to prevent it, are the center of the national campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual assault is broadly defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent. National statistics show that one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.

“The impact of sexual assault can have lifetime effects for survivors and their families,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “In April we recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the need for continued education to better serve survivors and hold their offenders accountable. It is a month dedicated to standing with survivors of sexual assault – honoring and amplifying their voices while providing education on the dynamics and realities of this crime.”

# # #

If you are a survivor of sexual assault and need to talk, call Michigan’s 24/7, free, confidential and anonymous hotline: 855-VOICES4 (855-864-2374). You can also text 866-238-1454. Resources are also available online at Michigan.gov/voices4.

In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive Order on March 23.

The Order is in effect March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm.

Stay Home, Stay Safe Order

The Rapid Central Station Lobby Closed to the Public (March 20 at 12:15 am) - Buses Still Running as Scheduled

Effective March 20, 2020 at 12:15 am, Rapid Central Station is going to close the lobby to the public until further notice with limited exceptions. Buses are still running on a normal schedule.


Access into the Central Station Lobby

Under security escort, one individual at a time will be allowed into the station to either purchase a Greyhound ticket or purchase or add funds to the Rapid Wave card. After the transaction, they will be escorted out of the building by security.


Entry/Exit Point

The entry/exit point is the southeast doors of Central Station. Greyhound customers after purchasing a Greyhound ticket will be escorted out to the Greyhound bus bays and will be required to wait outside for the bus that they are waiting for. Greyhound customers will only be allowed inside to purchase tickets when the Greyhound Ticket counter is open (9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 7 days a week) at this time. Greyhound buses dropping off customers will not be allowed in the building and will have to walk around the building to Grandville Ave. Greyhound bus operators will be advised that if they need to enter the building, to meet security at the southeast doors to conduct their business.


Rapid Information Center Hours

The Rapid Information Center will be open Monday - Friday, 6:30 am - 6:30 pm currently, but this may change. Again, only one individual will be allowed in Central Station at a time and only for those purposes listed above and no other.

The Rapid is taking this action to ensure the safety and health of all employees, contract employees, and customers.

The Walk MS event has changed to virtual participation. Read More


Questions

E-mail FundraisingSupport@nmss.org.

YMCA has cancelled all practices and games for the remainder of the basketball season. YMCA Website